As Contract Expiration Date LoomsPushback against management demand for outrageous wage and benefit concessions
With a contact deadline looming, a coalition of Transit Workers Union (TWU) rank and file members and Occupy Wall Street (OWS) activists will rally MTA headquarters, Thursday January 12 and march from there to Goldman Sachs offices in Lower Manhattan. Thursday’s protest will spotlight yet another effort to balance the MTA budget on the backs of working New Yorkers. The current contract between MTA and TWU expires January 15; the protest comes in the middle of tense negotiations.
OWS and TWU members will demand the cancellation of MTA’s debts to Wall Street, reasonable raises for transit workers, preserving existing health benefits, and the prioritization of rider safety by keeping conductors on trains and subway booths open. MTA has publicly called for transit workers to forgo salary raises for three years and to pay a whopping $6,000 more for family health benefits.
RALLY: Thursday January 12, 4:00pm in front of MTA headquarters at 2 Broadway near Bowling Green.
MARCH: 5:30pm from 2 Broadway to Liberty Square (aka Zuccotti Park) at Broadway and Liberty and then to Goldman Sachs offices at 200 West Street.
MTA’s board is unelected and unaccountable – nearly all members are appointed by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. The MTA has hired the notorious Goldman Sachs as its financial adviser.
Cuomo’s MTA asks for outrageous concessions from New York workers, and now Goldman Sachs, demands that workers and transit riders sacrifice to balance the MTA budget. In 2010, the MTA paid over $800 million in tax-free income to owners of MTA bonds, the 1%. These are “revenue bonds” which are paid directly from the train and bus fareboxes to MTA Bond owners. The money collected for these MTA Bonds does not go to transit worker wages or benefits, but instead to capital construction and repair projects. The current 10-year MTA capital plan costing $30 billion, is under-funded by a whopping $9 billion. The three current mega-construction projects, the 2nd avenue subway, the LIRR extension to Grand Central and the Transit Hub are over-budget almost $2 billion.
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